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Questions about shooting topless models
Old 10-15-2006, 11:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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OK I am preparing for my first semi-nude shoot, the model will be topless. As strange as this may sound it's been so long since I have seen another women besides my wife topless, I'm a bit uncomforable with this. While I have read from others that you get use to it and even forget they are not fully dressed. So besides the basic rule "DO NOT TOUCH THE MODELS". Is there any other bit of wisdom you would care to share with me? While this is meant to be a broad question. Not having done this before I thought I would see if there is anything I might not have thought of. Like do I need to make sure the MUA powers her chest?

See what I am asking?

Thanks,

Corey
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Re: Questions about shooting topless models
Old 10-15-2006, 11:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Be sure to have a plan for the topless shots. Don't allow the session to reach a stage where you are just staring, but have no idea what to shoot.
Cheers,
rfs
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Re: Questions about shooting topless models
Old 10-15-2006, 11:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R_Fredrick_Smith View Post
Be sure to have a plan for the topless shots. Don't allow the session to reach a stage where you are just staring, but have no idea what to shoot.
Cheers,
rfs
That's a good point, the strange thing is we will be shooting in a gentlemens club. These are the shots she wants, like she is dancing. Anybody want to show up and give her a dollar? Just kidding here.

Thanks

Corey
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Re: Questions about shooting topless models
Old 10-16-2006, 06:15 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Your last comment raises more questions. How are you planning on lighting the set? Is the place open with customers present? Sounds like the Model may dance in the club for a living, if so then she will have the poses down like she wants.

Her being topless shouldn't matter, I would worry more about the setups. ( Lights, camera position, backgrounds, lens selection, etc)

Mike
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Re: Questions about shooting topless models
Old 10-16-2006, 08:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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No the shoot will take place before the club opens. As for lighting there will be several lighting setup's. The first will be using the clubs lights and fog system. I will providing additional lighting for ensure proper exposer.

Also I was planning a shot withe the model standing several feet in front of a poll, I was going to use two lights, one from each side in back of her to create the highlight effect similar to the style used in 70's by playboy. From the front I was going to use a ringlight in some shots and two lights with softboxes in others. I wil also be bring along a large white bouce card, possible two of them. I might use these to bouce some softer lighting on the sides.

So anybody done a shoot like this before that have some images they can share?

Thanks

Corey
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Re: Questions about shooting topless models
Old 10-16-2006, 12:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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One other thing you might want to make sure of, is that there are electrical outlets available. I did a shoot in a nightclub a couple of weeks ago. When I got there I found that all the outlets along the floor had been closed up (probably, so some drunk wouldn't zap themselves). Anyways, I don't know what setup you have but I needed outlets to run my monolights. Good thing I packed some extension cords or it would have been a short session.

KJ
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Re: Questions about shooting topless models
Old 10-16-2006, 12:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hey Corey --

I alway carry a couple of 100 foot extension cords when I do shoots, because you never know where the electrical outlets will be located -- plus, if I decide to shoot outside, I can put the cords together and get over 200 feet from the building.

Not that I ever shoot topless or nude women, but a friend told me the following --.

"Breasts -- if you've seen one, you've seen'em both." Just remember that big breasts are closer to the camera than the model's face, so remember to always ... focus on her face! Also, if you're using a ringlight be carefull with your lighting ... some really large breasts may blowout (highlights) since they're much closer to the ring light.

Finally ... be careful when shooting a model on a shiny pole -- the pole may cause flares from your strobes. Position the model between you and the pole, or put your lights up high so they minize the reflections --- or I guess you could always grease the pole so it doesn't reflect so much light! LOL!

Regardless of how you shoot your first topless model ... try to have some fun!
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Re: Questions about shooting topless models
Old 10-16-2006, 05:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Corey,

You will in time get used to it. My sugestion for the first time, is try not to think to hard about the fact that your model is topless and definately try not to Stare. You can always look at the photos later. Just act naturally, keep conversation flowing and everything usually goes fine.

Nikonman
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Re: Questions about shooting topless models
Old 10-16-2006, 05:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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One very major thing to remember with nudes of any type. An amateur or GWC will show up, make the set-up, have the model strip and start shooting. A pro will not, because there is one important thing that he looks out for, impressions made by elastic on the skin. Have her show up in no bra and a loose shirt, or better yet, have her get into a loose robe and allow the marks to disappear. It usually only takes a few minutes, and it's well worth the wait because you'll get better images. She should stand in the robe, rather than sit, or you'll get marks on her butt from the robe and marks on the backs of her legs from the chair.

R
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Re: Questions about shooting topless models
Old 10-16-2006, 05:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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If you feel really nervous about shooting her topless, ask her to do a few poses with her top still on, "just to check the lighting". Take a few headshots, perhaps with her top down just enough to bare her shoulders. Talk to her while you shoot these.

You're not really checking the lighting, you are building rapport with her. By doing this before she is topless, you are both more comfortable, and you can build some trust.

Show her a shot or two, if that's your style (some photographers do, some don't). I find it helps, because she can see that you are competent at capturing the image, framing her nicely, and so on.

Only takes a few minutes, but it means she can take her top off and feel safer, and you'll be less nervous.

You can also use the time to let any marks on her skin fade (if she was wearing a bra, get her to remove it before this), so it's dual-purpose.

I don't always do this, but it helps, sometimes for my nerves, sometimes for theirs (not all models are comfortable stripping off in front of strangers... if she strips in another room, and comes out wearing a towel or coat, it's a good indication that you need to build rapport and trust!).

Unexpectedly, I have managed to get some really nice headshots from these "warm-up" sessions - bonus!

FWIW
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